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January 16, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our Health and Science Highlights provide cutting edge news that could impact your health and our future.



For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


Flu Taking a Toll, Pediatric Deaths Hit 17-Year High (Healthline)

The United States may be gearing up for one of the worst flu seasons in years, health experts predict. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday that there have been 32 pediatric deaths so far this season. That’s the most flu-related deaths we’ve seen in children since the CDC started tracking flu numbers 17 years ago.

It’s okay to eat romaine lettuce again as officials declare e-coli outbreak over (CNN)

Caesar salad lovers rejoice -- your crispy romaine lettuce leaves are OK to eat now.  The nationwide, months long E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce ended Wednesday, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Some hospital are ditching lead aprons during x-rays (ABC News)

Patients have come to expect a technician to drape their torsos with a heavy lead apron when they get an X-ray, but new thinking among radiologists and medical physicists is upending the decades-old practice of shielding patients from radiation. Some hospitals are ditching the ritual of covering reproductive organs and fetuses during imaging exams after prominent medical and scientific groups have said it’s a feel-good measure that can impair the quality of diagnostic tests and sometimes inadvertently increase a patient’s radiation exposure.


Ocean temperatures hit record high as rate of heating accelerates (Guardian)

The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019, showing “irrefutable and accelerating” heating of the planet. The world’s oceans are the clearest measure of the climate emergency because they absorb more than 90% of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel burning, forest destruction and other human activities. The new analysis shows the past five years are the top five warmest years recorded in the ocean and the past 10 years are also the top 10 years on record.

'There's something here': teen discovers new planet while interning at NASA (Guardian)

Wolf Cukier, 17, discovered a planet 6.9 times larger than Earth and only the 13th of its kind.

Belching in a good way: How livestock could learn from Orkney sheep (BBC)

The northernmost Orkney island, North Ronaldsay, is home to just 50 people and 2,000 sheep. Since the 19th Century, when islanders built a stone wall to confine the flock to the shoreline, it has survived on seaweed alone - and it now seems that this special diet could hold the key to greener, more climate-friendly livestock farming.

How a mysterious seismic hum led scientists to the birth of an enormous undersea volcano (Washington Post)

The volcano came into the world wailing, but for a while nobody heard it.







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